Worldly

We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and staff defense writer Alex Ward give you the history and context you need to make sense of the moment and navigate the world around you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Politics
News Commentary
101
Why the US can’t win in Afghanistan
The war in Afghanistan — and why the US can’t seem to win it.
19 min
102
The case for foreign policy restraint
Matt Yglesias talks to Cato's Emma Ashford about all kinds of foreign policy
55 min
103
Boris's Great British Brexit-Off
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to “prorogue” Parliament
16 min
104
The Amazon is on fire
20 min
105
INF'd
The recently deceased Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty
18 min
106
India’s power grab in Kashmir
India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution
17 min
107
Are the US and Turkey heading for a divorce?
The most recent fight is over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system
22 min
108
Boris and Brexit
The UK’s new prime minister: Boris Johnson.
19 min
109
Meet the Space Force
Trump's more-tedious-than-it-sounds plan for military domination of the final frontier.
42 min
110
A very special relationship episode
The saga of Kim Darroch, the recently-resigned UK Ambassador to the US.
21 min
111
Under pressure (Live!)
The notion of “maximum pressure” — a phrase coined to describe Trump’s North Korea policy that has turned out to describe the closest thing we have to a Trump doctrine.
29 min
112
The Democratic (foreign policy) debate
The big foreign policy issue dividing the candidates: whether the liberal international order the United States set up after World War II is working, and what reforms are necessary if it isn’t.
20 min
113
How close are we to war with Iran?
Iranian attacks on oil tankers, Iran announcing that it was thinking about breaking the terms of the nuclear deal, and the US sending more troops to the region.
18 min
114
The fight to save Hong Kong
The huge protests in Hong Kong that erupted over a controversial amendment to the city’s extradition law — and why the fight is really about protecting the city’s freedoms from Beijing’s attempts to repress them.
15 min
115
Jamestown: Utopian for Whom?
Nice Try! is a new podcast from Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network that explores stories of people who have tried to design a better world, and what happens when those designs don't go according to plan.
11 min
116
Bloodshed in Sudan
How months-long protests to oust a brutal dictator in Sudan, once so hopeful, have fallen victim to a bloody repression campaign.
13 min
117
European Dis-union
Jenn, Alex, and special guest Jen Kirby (who goes by Kirby in our shows) explain the shocking results of the European parliamentary elections.
15 min
118
Collusion in Austria
How a six-hour video of a far-right party leader drinking in Ibiza brought down Austria’s government.
19 min
119
The art of trade war
Trump’s trade war with China, which appears to be back on after negotiations failed to produce a deal.
19 min
120
Slouching towards an Iran war
19 min
121
Venezuela’s phantom coup
The strange non-coup in Venezuela this week
18 min
122
Trump is stoking a civil war in Libya
The recent violence in Libya — where a militia led by strongman Khalifa Haftar is threatening to topple the internationally recognized government.
14 min
123
Maybe collusion, probably obstruction [Special ...
Ezra Klein joins Zack, Jenn, and Alex in a crossover episode with The Weeds on Robert Mueller’s just-released report.
35 min
124
The end of the two-state solution?
15 min
125
Brunei just made gay sex punishable by death
The wealthy authoritarian nation of Brunei’s horrific new criminal code, in which men who have sex with men can be executed by stoning.
19 min
126
The latest Israel Gaza flare-up
The latest round of fighting between Israel and militants based in the Gaza Strip.
20 min
127
Understanding the New Zealand attack
The dark far-right echo chamber that seemingly motivated the New Zealand mosque shooter.
22 min
128
Introducing Switched on Pop
Vox takes culture seriously. Our coverage seeks to understand how our cultural touchstones work -- and what they reveal about who we are.
13 min
129
Algeria’s election, UK’s rejection
The big-deal political developments in Algeria — where longtime ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika has decided not to run for a fifth presidential term.
23 min
130
D'oh Canada
The major political scandal rocking Canada in which top officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, may have pressured the attorney general to rule in favor of a powerful Canadian company facing criminal charges.
21 min
131
Four countries, two nuclear crises
The week’s big nuclear news — the US-North Korea summit in Vietnam and the recent round of hostilities between India and Pakistan.
22 min
132
Four songs that help explain the world
All four of our popular Elsewhere music segments in one special episode!
19 min
133
Brexit’s biggest hurdle: Ireland
The biggest hurdle to the Brexit process: the border between the Republic of Ireland and British-controlled Northern Ireland.
23 min
134
How America’s longest war might finally end
19 min
135
Trump’s intelligence failure
A new intelligence report that directly contradicts President Trump’s views on key policy issues from ISIS to climate change.
19 min
136
Venezuela has two presidents
The political crisis in Venezuela — a country in economic free fall where two men are each claiming to be the sole legitimate president.
22 min
137
Bollocks to Brexit
The UK parliament’s very big, very bizarre week of voting.
21 min
138
One of the world’s worst dictators is facing an...
The burgeoning protest movement against Sudan’s longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir.
22 min
139
Trump's surprise troop withdrawal
What President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw US troops from Syria means for that country, ISIS, and Iran.
21 min
140
One refugee’s story in Hungary
Europe’s political meltdown over migration, which Zack got a firsthand look at during a trip to Hungary last week funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
16 min
141
Hindsight is 2018
Looking back at three of the most dramatic foreign policy decisions President Trump made in 2018 — and whether, in retrospect, they turned out to be as dramatic as we’d initially thought.
27 min
142
It was China, in the Marriott database, with th...
The massive hack of Marriott, in which the information of as many as 500 million people was stolen.
16 min
143
2 French 2 Furious
The protests currently raging in France.
22 min
144
A trio of unlikely senators work to stop the Ye...
The Senate’s historic War Powers vote on Wednesday, the first step toward reining in US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
24 min
145
The case for (and against) open borders
Provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world – ideas like opening up our borders.
23 min
146
China’s “concentration camps” for Muslims
A terrible and under-discussed humanitarian crisis: China’s repression of its Uighur Muslim minority.
25 min
147
Jeff Sessions is out. Is Robert Mueller next?
The implications of President Donald Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both for the Russia investigation and for the rule of law
21 min
148
Why fringe groups are winning around the world
What a presidential election in Brazil and a stunning political announcement in Germany have in common: the collapse of centrist leadership worldwide.
26 min
149
Duck and cover
One of the world’s biggest threats: nuclear war.
27 min
150
A murder and an outbreak
The latest in the Jamal Khashoggi saga and then interviews Vox health writer Julia Belluz on the worrying Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
20 min
151
Where is Jamal Khashoggi?
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident-in-exile and Washington Post columnist.
21 min
152
The looming Brexit catastrophe
The state of Brexit: The United Kingdom’s ongoing negotiation over the terms of its departure from the European Union.
23 min
153
Trump’s plan to tank the Chinese economy
Trump’s massive new escalation in his trade war with China — new tariffs that mean half of all imports from China are now being taxed.
22 min
154
Did al-Qaeda win?
The debate over the legacy of the 9/11 attacks: Did al-Qaeda get what it wanted?
29 min
155
A looming disaster in Syria
The looming crisis in Idlib, the last big rebel stronghold in Syria, which will soon be the target of a vicious Assad regime offensive.
25 min
156
Deal or no deal
The way President Trump makes deals with foreign countries.
28 min
157
The Trump-Fox News-white nationalist feedback loop
Trump’s late-night tweet about the alleged persecution of white South African farmers.
22 min
158
Talking Turkey (and its economic crisis)
The economic crisis crippling Turkey — and how its feud with the Trump administration over a detained American pastor is making things even worse.
27 min
159
Saudi Arabia picked a fight with...Canada?
The utterly bizarre diplomatic fight between Saudi Arabia and Canada — and why it has everything to do with the ruthless ambition of Saudi’s young new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
23 min
160
A man, a plan, Iran
The economics behind Trump’s offer to sit down with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
25 min
161
It’s gettin hot in here, so get really concern...
The heat wave wreaking havoc across the Northern Hemisphere, spreading a wildfire in Greece so hot that cars are melting on city streets.
29 min
162
From Russia, with love (and hacking)
The evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and how much of it President Donald Trump had already been shown before his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
24 min
163
Has Trump actually been good for NATO?
President Trump’s big NATO summit this week and his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
23 min
164
Why Europe turned its back on migrants
Europe’s political meltdown over migration, which Zack got a firsthand look at during a trip to Hungary last week funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
25 min
165
The military’s biggest challenge? Trump.
Why the hell the Pentagon keeps getting caught off guard by big decisions coming from the White House.
29 min
166
Blame China?
President Donald Trump’s looming trade war with China, which could soon make it more expensive to buy everything from an iPhone to an air conditioner.
26 min
167
The Art of the Deal, by Kim Jong Un
How the US didn’t get very much, while North Korea got exactly what it wanted and more
34 min
168
Trump and Kim, sitting in a hotel, T-A-L-K-I-N-G
The possibilities — and perils — of President Trump’s upcoming nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.
24 min
169
The nuclear standoff nobody's talking about
The nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan, one of the most dangerous but least known military conflicts in the world.
27 min
170
Trump’s breakup note to Kim Jong-un, explained
President Trump’s surprise cancellation of his planned summit with Kim Jong Un — a decision Trump announced literally as the Worldly crew was sitting down to record the podcast.
23 min
171
The Arab world has abandoned Gaza
Israel's killings of dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza and why many Arab countries seem willing to give Israel a pass and instead focus on what they see as a growing threat from Iran.
24 min
172
America is out of the Iran deal. Now what?
President Trump's historic and dangerous decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, a move that angered America's closest allies and potentially set the stage for a new Mideast war.
27 min
173
A war between Israel and Iran could really happen
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s over-the-top media blitz designed to sway President Trump to nix the Iran nuclear deal and about how Israel’s shadow conflict with Iran is threatening to explode into a new Mideast war.
34 min
174
The ideology behind the Toronto terror attack, ...
Monday's bloody terror attack in Toronto, which was carried out by a member of a fringe anti-woman movement called "incel," short for "involuntary celibate."
32 min
175
The promise and peril of Trump’s North Korea me...
CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s secret meeting with Kim Jong Un, the clearest sign yet that the Trump administration is serious about setting aside the belligerent rhetoric and having a historic face-to-face summit between Donald Trump and Kim.
26 min
176
Trump has no Syria strategy. Obama didn't either.
President Trump’s threats to bomb Syria after a brutal chemical weapons attack there — and why a US military strike won’t have much impact on the country’s civil war.
30 min
177
A clear guide to the Israel-Gaza crisis
The growing crisis on the Gaza-Israel border, where Israeli troops killed 19 Palestinians during violent clashes with protesters, sparking fears of all-out war.
28 min
178
The rise of Trump's war cabinet (Weeds crossover!)
Trump’s national security cabinet reshuffle — and whether the appointment of incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton increases the risks of war with North Korea and Iran.
33 min
179
Trump’s Russia policy? What Russia policy?
Why President Trump's top aides begged him not to congratulate Vladimir Putin for winning this week's sham Russian election -- and why Trump ignored them and did so anyway.
31 min
180
Putin’s poisonings
The poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK with a deadly nerve agent.
27 min
181
Rexit special!
President Trump finally firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after publicly and privately mocking him for months.
16 min
182
Make Italy Great Again
How Italy's elections may have paved the way for a far-right prime minister who sees Vladimir Putin as a role model, wants to close mosques, and openly talks about deporting 500,000 migrants.
27 min
183
Why Xi Jinping’s power grab is dangerous for Ch...
China's decision to allow President Xi Jinping to rule the country indefinitely, a move that means the world's biggest country will likely grow even more repressive at home and aggressive abroad.
32 min
184
Russian mercenaries, Israeli airstrikes, and th...
The evolution of Syria’s civil war and how a conflict that once pitted Syrian against Syrian has now drawn in at least six outside countries.
33 min
185
Polish Holocaust denial and the weaponization o...
A controversial new law in Poland that makes it illegal to accuse the "Polish nation" of being complicit in the Holocaust, a change that has infuriated the US, Israel, and Jewish communities around the world.
33 min
186
Why America can’t quit Guantanamo Bay
The controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and President Trump’s announcement this week that he’s keeping it open and may send ISIS fighters there.
30 min
187
Why Trump, who promised to keep America out of ...
President Trump’s decision to escalate America’s military involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and beyond — despite having campaigned on an “America First” agenda that promised to reduce US military intervention overseas.
37 min
188
A Saudi-Iran proxy war has torn Yemen apart — a...
The horrific war in Yemen, which has become a battleground in a shadow war between Iran and Saudi Arabia — and where there are real reasons to worry that the US is complicit in war crimes.
29 min
189
Why Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigat...
The state of play in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — and why obstruction of justice, not collusion, may pose the biggest legal and political threat to President Trump.
35 min
190
How expensive eggs helped kick off the biggest ...
What the massive protests in Iran say about the future of the country — and about its tense relationship with the US.
29 min
191
“Speak loudly and carry a small stick:” Trump’s...
What Donald Trump's first year in office says about his approach to the presidency and how he's likely to handle Iran, North Korea, and China in the future.
40 min
192
The most political Olympics since the Cold War
Hhow global politics will shape next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea in a way that hasn’t been seen since the height of the Cold War.
27 min
193
Trump said Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Now w...
President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that breaks with decades of US foreign policy -- and that tells us a lot about how Trump makes decisions and how often his actions don't match his tough-guy rhetoric.
49 min
194
Rex Tillerson's departure looks imminent as the...
President Trump’s apparent decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will go down as arguably the worst secretary of state in American history.
54 min
195
The president of the world's most powerful demo...
President Trump's trip to Asia, where his warm feelings for foreign autocrats and refusal to discuss human rights abuses raise real questions about whether the leader of the world's biggest democracy actually cares much about democracy.
54 min
196
Saudi Arabia's real-life Game of Thrones
The shocking purge in Saudi Arabia, where the country's young and ambitious crown prince has abruptly begun arresting his relatives and seizing billions of dollars of their money.
42 min
197
The New York attack reveals ISIS’s plan for sur...
What the terror attack in New York says about the true ISIS threat to the US.
52 min
198
What were American troops doing in Niger?
The deaths of four US soldiers in Niger in October, a tragedy at the center of a nasty political fight between President Trump and a grieving military widow
45 min
199
What the fight over Kirkuk means for Iraq's future
Why Washington’s two biggest allies in the fight against ISIS are squaring off over the future of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city in northern Iraq
48 min
200
Trump's risky, pointless plan to undermine the ...
The Iran nuclear deal and the looming Sunday deadline for President Trump to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal
46 min